June 2013
In This Issue
Message from the President
Wolf Trap Bird Inventory
LEAPP Classes
Advocacy Update
Field Trips - Bird Walks
Other News

Upcoming Event

July 12-16: National Audubon Society National Convention 

Conservation Counts
Join Jim Waggener in his ongoing wildlife surveys at two of Northern Virginia's best birding spots. Surveys alternate between Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area on Mason Neck.

Each survey is limited to four participants, and reservations are required. More information is available on the ASNV website.

Contact Jim via email or phone (703-567-3555) for more details or to reserve your space.

General Surveys

Occoquan Bay NWR
  • June 26 
  • July 31        
Meadowood on Mason Neck
  • June 12 
  • July 17       

Butterfly and Dragonfly Surveys
Join Jim Waggener each Friday (April-October) in his ongoing survey of the butterflies and dragonflies at four locations in Fairfax and Prince William County.

Each survey is limited to four participants, and reservations are required. More information is available on the ASNV website.

Contact Jim via email or phone (703-567-3555) for more details or to reserve your space. (Note: Surveys may be cancelled for inclement weather.)
  • June 7 - Occoquan Regional Park
  • June 14 - Occoquan Bay NWR
  • June 21 - Meadowood
  • June 28 - Metz Wetlands 

Eakin Park Bird Walk
Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FCPA) sponsors weekly bird walks along the Accotink Stream Valley. Mondays,
7:00 AM March-Nov.;
7:30 AM Dec - Feb.

Help make a difference!
E-Activist Network.  The 
National Audubon Society invites all Auduboners to join their  e-activist network. When you subscribe to their newsletter, you'll receive alerts about important Congressional actions and information about how you can affect legislation by contacting your Members of Congress.

Climate Change.
We also need passionate volunteers across Virginia who can help us persuade our U. S. senators to support a strong climate change bill. If you would like to help us make a difference with climate change and other important issues, please contact Glenda Booth.

Research Plant Value to Wildlife. ASNV is looking 
for a Virgina master naturalist, or other interested volunteer, willing to research the wildlife value of specific native plants. 

More information about these and other opportunities can be found here.

Audubon at Home. People- 
oriented volunteers are needed to help spread the word about the Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary Program at community and regional events. We schedule the dates, provide all the materials, and brief you on our message -- you supply the enthusiasm!

To volunteer or for more information, contact info@audubonva.org.
Message from the President
ASNV is very fortunate to have many truly great volunteers giving back and enriching our Northern Virginia community. I see fresh dedication every day, and feel like we owe a great deal to those who serve our mission so faithfully. From long-standing volunteers, such as Carol Hadlock, Glenda Booth, and Ray Smith, to newcomers like Ann Garvey, Leslie Paulsen, Betsy Martin, and Leigh Pickering, who are field program coordinators for Audubon at Home, many people are doing positive things on our behalf every day.
I want to use this space each month to introduce our membership to some of our amazing volunteers. Ann Garvey is one who has dedicated hundreds of hours over the past several months to get Audubon at Home up and running with our partner, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. Ann's interest in native plants started when she spent winters as a volunteer at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Florida. For LWC, Ann kicked off a native plant lecture series and is responsible for the annual native plant sale. She attended Carol Hadlock's workshop, Audubon at Home and Beyond, and knew then that she wanted to be involved in spreading our program to Loudoun County. Ann's leadership has been invaluable. This year to date, she has recruited 11 volunteers as AAH Ambassadors, and her LWC program has certified 10 properties as AAH Wildlife Sanctuaries. And she is just getting started!
On June 11, others who want to be inspired can take advantage of a workshop and field trip with one of our region's true experts in the natural ecosystems around us, Alonso Abugattas. We'll be examining the habitat value of native plants and traveling on June 15 to Huntley Meadows to view these plants in a natural setting. Hope to see you there!
Wolf Trap Bird Inventory Recruitment
Gets Good Response
Thank you to all those who volunteered to help with the bird inventory at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. We have divided the park into four sectors and have enough leaders and volunteers to form four teams and will be able to have at least two people in each sector each week. The teams are not closed, however, and since this is a long term project, if there are folks out there who would like to participate, you can still get in touch with Carol Hadlock, Bill Brown, or Carl Kikuchi . We're off to a good start and look forward to a very successful year-long project.
LEAPP Classes

The LEAPP® (Learn, Enjoy, Appreciate, Preserve, and Protect) program offers Northern Virginians the opportunity to learn more about the natural world and be informed, active stewards for its care and protection.  Since its inception in 1999, students have found that LEAPP classes are fun and personally rewarding.  Don't miss out - register early!  Please note that registration is not complete until payment is received. (For Master Naturalists:  All workshops have been approved for Advanced Training hours.) To register, contact ASNV at 703-438-6008 or at info@audubonva.org. New: register for classes and pay fees via PayPal at the ASNV web site.

The Habitat Value of Native Plants Tuesday, June 11, 2013. 6:30-9:00 

What plants make for the best habitat? Which plants are preferred or are necessary to the greatest number of animal species? Are there other factors to maximize the habitat we can provide for wildlife? Take advantage of this opportunity to hear some recommendations for specific plantings and discuss why these should be considered. Several handouts will be made available for participants. The instructor, Alonso Abugattus, is a long-time Arlington County Naturalist with specialties in plants, herps, and insects. He is co-chair for the Beltway Chapter of the National Association for Interpretation, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener Trainer. He was a former officer, including President, of the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and was co-founder of the Washington Area Butterfly Club.

Location: Room A139 at Fairfax High on June 11 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.   Fairfax High:  3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, VA  22030.

Cost: $40 for members and $50 for non-members

Class Size: Maximum of 25

Instructor: Alonso Abugattus, Arlington County Natural Resource Manager.

Field Trip: Huntley Meadows: Saturday, June 15, 2013. 9:00-1:00

Advocacy Update
Conservation Depends On You

Congress Could Vote on Conservation  


Hopefully, the Senate will soon consider the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Most national conservation groups are supporting her. Here's what the National Audubon Society is saying in support: "Gina McCarthy is whip-smart, tough-talking and tenacious. She is exactly the kind of leader the country needs to make historic progress on climate change solutions," said Audubon Vice President for Government Relations Mike DaultonRead more... 


Park Authority Strategic Plan  


The Fairfax County Park Authority is drafting the FY 2014 - 2018 Strategic Plan and accepted comments until June 2.  You can still send comments to Park Authority Board members, as they will consider it on June 12.  You can find your FCPA Board member here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/board/.


FCPA said, "The plan, developed internally over the past two years, reflects the challenges faced by the Park Authority during these austere economic times, focuses on the diverse and growing needs of the near future, and seeks to outline the strategic vision that when adopted by the Park Authority Board will provide guidance and direction to meet agency goals.  Read more... 


Learn How to Influence Public Policy

It's never too early to gear up for the 2014 session of the Virginia General Assembly. The Virginia Conservation Network (www.vcnva.org ) will hold an advocacy training workshop on July 11, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Conference Center, 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203 near the Ballston Metro Stop.

Virginia Will Elect Leaders


Virginians this year will elect a governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general and all members of the House of Delegates.   Campaigns are opportunities for advocates to educate candidates on conservation issues and influence their positions and future actions, if elected. The Democrats will hold a primary for some offices on June 11.   Virginia Republicans chose their statewide candidates in a convention in May. 

Field Trips - Bird Walks
Buttermilk Creek, Reston, VA

Sunday, June 9, 7:30-10:30 AM

With meadow, forest and the backside of Lake Fairfax, this walk in spring always produces lots of birds.

Getting there: From Baron Cameron Ave. (Rt. 606) in Reston, go south on Wiehle Ave., turn left on North Shore Dr. and at the intersection with Ring Rd., turn into the parking lot for the pool and tennis courts.


Family Bird Walk in Reston

Saturday, June 15, 8:00-10:00 AM

In our third family bird walk we will explore the woods and stream valley around Reston's Nature House. The walk is geared toward families with children aged 10 and older, and will help budding naturalists identify and learn more about our beautiful local birds. Bring binoculars and curiosity.

Meet at the Walker Nature House at 11450 Glade Dr., Reston


Wolf Trap Park, Vienna, VA

Saturday, June 22, 7:30 AM

The grounds crew and many volunteers have completed a loop trail around this 135-acre park, which includes wetland, dry upland forest, rocky stream valley, open meadows and beautiful native plant gardens. If you have only ever been to Wolf Trap for the performances, it's time to explore the amazing natural area that surrounds the Filene Center.   Bill Brown will lead this walk. Meet in front of the Maintenance compound.

Getting there: From Rt. 7, take Towlston Rd. to the park. Turn right at the first entrance to the lower parking lot and go all the way to the end. From Vienna, cross the Toll Rd., go past the main entrance to the Filene Center, and turn left into the lower parking lot.

Other News

Northern Virginia Bird Survey 
Throughout June
The 20th year of the ASNV Northern Virginia Bird Survey will take place in June. This breeding bird survey involves a one time, five-minute count between dawn and about 9:30 a.m. at mostly 250-meter grid points located at over twenty-five areas (mostly parkland). Included is Manassas National Battlefield Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway's Great Falls Park and Dyke Marsh, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the BLM's Meadowood, and Lorton/Laurel, Riverbend Park, and Huntley Meadows Park (and a number of other Fairfax County Park Authority areas). If you have an interest in participating contact the NVBS Director Carolyn Williams at cwilliae@gmu.edu or 703-273-1961. All types of birders are welcome - experts, intermediates, and novices. Information about past surveys can be found here.

Butterfly Count 
Saturday, June 29 
The Annual Occoquan Bay-area Butterfly Count scheduled for Saturday, June 29, is part of the international count organized around the 4th of July by the North American Butterfly Association.  This year will be the 13th running of an event that covers the Occoquan Bay NWR and other butterfly sites of interest within the count circle.  Essentially a morning count, in the past volunteers have have documented, on average, over 30 species.  Anyone interested in participating should contact Jim Waggener for details:  (703) 567-3555 or email at jwagge3093@aol.com. More information can be found here.

Whooping Cranes 
September 11, 7:30 p.m. 
Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center 
Ken Lavish from Patuxent Wildlife Research Center will discuss the Patuxent Refuge's whooping crane project to re-establish migrating flocks of whooping cranes, North America's tallest bird and a species that was nearly wiped out when, in 1941, there were only around 22. Ken helps raise chicks at Patuxent. The cranes are bred and hatched at Patuxent and then transferred to Wisconsin.  Cosponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

CSI: Plants 
November 13, 7:30 p.m. 
Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center

Plants have been used in criminal investigations for hundreds of years. Plants help solve crimes through seeds, pollen or other plant material found at crime scenes or on suspects' clothing, plant toxin analysis, DNA sequencing and more. Presented by Steven B. Carroll, Director of Public Programs, Arboretum of Virginia and Blandy Experimental Farm, University of Virginia. 7:30 PM, Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center. Visit www.fodm.org for more information.

Banshee Reeks Certified as Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary


The 725 acre Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is the first public site in Loudoun County to be awarded certification as an Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary under a new program administered by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. Audubon at Home is a national program implemented in Loudoun County by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy in partnership with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. Read more...     


Appointment of Glenda Booth to VIMS 


ASNVer Glenda Booth was appointed to the Council of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) of the College of William and Mary. The Council advises VIMS in its mission, mandated by Virginia law, to "maintain its position as the preeminent institution of coastal and estuarine research, education and advisory services." Glenda also agreed to serve on the board of the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association.